#5 Reasons Why Setting up a Start-up is a Lot Like the First Day Of College
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Starting college, wide-eyed and on your own for the first time, can be euphoric but also quite terrifying. Every victory and event is of your own making, yet at the same time, it can be just daunting, since every loss and failure is also your own.
The same goes for when you are starting your own business. You are excited and ready for what the experience will bring since every victory is yours alone, but the prospect of the responsibility can be ever so daunting as well.
Here are five reasons why creating a start-up can feel a lot like you've just begun your first day of college.
When you were starting a new school, you tended to look for that one person who will be your best friend and confidant. While different in personality, they shared your interests and sense of humor. This individual assisted you with projects and getting acclimated, so you had someone to rely on for support.
The same goes for when you establish your own business. You often look to find yourself a co-founder: someone you trust and can rely on to work with, potentially someone with a personality different than your own but who shares your interests. They usually have strengths that you lack and can offer a different perspective on projects and agendas, adding another layer to the work to come.
No “I” in Team
Whenever you started a new school, you were probably encouraged to join a team or club. Whether it is athletic or academic, it always felt important to pick the right one. These would be the individuals you would spend countless hours practicing and prepping with, individuals who you’d have to rely on and who would, in turn, have to rely on you with the common goal of succeeding.
When it comes to gathering a team for your company, you need to be sure to choose a group of-like-minded individuals who are just as invested in your company's success as you are. You will be spending countless hours collaborating and working together. With a great team, you can delegate properly and rely on them if need be.
At the start of the school year, you needed to plan out how much books, supplies and your daily coffee would cost you. Your schooling and dorm would take up a tremendous amount of life savings, and it was important to create a budget for yourself so you knew how much money you'd be spending throughout the year, on coffee and transportation and even the occasional party to boost your social status. If you were honest about your spending habits, you could create a great financial plan that still left room for fun.
Same goes for having a solid business plan. Businesses cost money and, more often than not, they hemorrhage more money at the start then they make. Make sure you calculate costs and distribute accordingly. Create a marketing plan that projects how much you will potentially make and how much it will cost to develop your product or platform, hire a team, etc. Go in with eyes wide open.
When planning your class schedule, you needed to make sure you chose the right classes so as to not waste your time. You targeted the major you were considering and choose your classes accordingly, signing up for the courses that were necessary and would benefit you in the long run.
Same goes for your startup. Learn all you need to know about your potential audience. Make sure there is a need for what you are creating and that your product or service suits that need. If you don't do this, you will have created something that isn't necessarily beneficial for your potential consumer, and you will have wasted your time and money.
The Key to Success
Finding someone to mentor you at school was one of the most important steps on your way to graduation. Whether it was a professor you connect with or a guidance counselor at the institution, you needed someone who could help you prepare for your future. A mentor was someone you admired and could take advice from, who took the time and interest in investing in your future.
Same goes when starting your own business. Finding the right investors is key in the process of business creation. Make sure the investor is interested in the success of your company as much as you are. Make sure you are willing to work with them long-term and can handle taking advice from them. Unless you have the capital to back it up, you will need that economic support to start your company. The investor usually has a stake in the company and will want to have a say in any major moves. Listen to them, they want your company to succeed as much as you do.
Establishing a startup can be taxing both physically and emotionally - very much like starting a new school. You will feel that similar fish-out-of-the-water feeling, uneasy in your decisions and a little out of your depth. From the smallest decision to the largest, you are in charge of your company from beginning to end and the responsibility that comes with it can be both daunting and intimidating. But just like that college freshman, if you take careful steps you will set yourself on the right path making it both an uplifting and rewarding journey.